The future Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11) finished its first integrated sea trials on Aug. 23 in the Gulf of Mexico, the Navy said on Friday.
Integrated trials combine builder’s and acceptance trials. The Navy said this allows for the shipyard, Austal USA, “to demonstrate to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey the operational capability and mission readiness of all the ship’s systems during a single underway period.”
During these trials, which lasted for two days underway in the Gulf of Mexico, Austal conducted comprehensive tests to demonstration the performance of all major ship systems. The ship was built at Austal’s Mobile, Ala., facility.
“The EPF program continues to be an example of stable and successful serial ship production. I look forward to seeing EPF 11 deliver in the fall and expand the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders,” Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, PEO Ships, said in a statement.
EPF vessels are non-combatant ships meant to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways to increase flexibility for relief operations in small or damaged ports, logistics support, and general fast transport. The ships can interface with a roll-on/roll-off facility and load a fully combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank.
Austal is also currently building the future USNS Newport (EPF-12) and is under contract to build the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13) and EPF-14.